Monday, April 13, 2020

Congress Investigates the Klan 1870-1871

 John Brown Gordon Confederate Lt. General,  and later U.S. Senator and Governor of Georgia
 John Brown Gordon Confederate Lt. General, and later U.S. Senator and Governor of Georgia


At the end of war the South had not only suffered tremendous human losses, but was also materially and economically devastated.  Yet there was no Marshall Plan for her recovery put forth by the dominant faction of Northern political leaders.  Instead, Reconstruction was a plan to punish the South and remake Southern society, while continuing and even increasing her ruthless economic exploitation for the benefit of Northern commercial and industrial interests.   The total war policies of the Union Army and the exploitive policies of the Reconstruction governments had caused a famine in the South in 1866, while the North was enjoying economic prosperity and plenty. 

Although many private relief agencies and churches in the North sent some relief, the U.S. government sent no aid and continued to force its destructive confiscation and tax policies on the South.   All this was related to maintaining the political dominance gained by the Republican Party in 1860 and furthering the agenda of the Radical Republicans.   If the South could not be remade into a region of political vassal states to the Radical Republicans, the Republicans would lose their national power. Enfranchising and capturing the black vote was a primary strategy to that end. Destroying the economic, cultural, and political influence of former Confederates served that end, as well as providing the means for enriching opportunist carpetbaggers and government officials.

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